Northern Areas of Pakistan:
Northern Areas of Pakistan is the most spectacular & fascinating region of Pakistan. Here, world’s three famous mountain ranges meet the Himalayas, the Karakorams & the Hindukush. The whole Northern Areas is like a paradise for mountaineers, climbers, trekkers, hikers & anglers.
The Karakoram Pakistan:
The historic Karakoram Pass (5575m), an ancient trading route between the Northern Pakistan & Xinjiang (China), gives its name to the range west of it that forms the watershed between the Indus & the Central Asian deserts. The eastern boundary of the Karakorams is the upper Shyok river from where it extends over 322 km westwards to the karumbar river & the Hindukush range, to the north Shaksgam tributary of the yarkand river & to the south, the Indus bounds the karakorams, Here the Nanga Parbat (8126m) massif is the western anchor of the great Himalayan range which stretches in an arc 24, 124 km east to Burma, it boundary & barrier the razor edge which for centuries has determined the destiny of south Asia. Such is the setting of the Karakoram Range, this remnant of a primeval ice age. The third pole with extensive glacier systems & the greatest concentration of lofty mountains in the World.
Highest Peaks in Pakistan:
Of the fourteen over 8000 meters high Peaks on earth, four occupy an amphitheatre at the head of Baltoro. Their shapes, forms, sizes & colors provide tremendous contrast, which defy description. These are K-2 (8611m) world’s second highest peak in the World. The undisputed monarch of the sky, Broad Peak (8047m) massive Gasherbrum I (8068m) & Gasherbrum II ( 8035m) the Pakistani Pyramids that even Cheops would have preferred for a tomb, Muztagh Tower, deceptively sheer, Chogolise, the Bird Peak, in whose eternal embrace lies Hermann Buhi, the first man to climb Nanga Parbat, the Cathedrals of Baltoro with their great knife edge ridges, the sky cleaving monoliths of Trango Towers & the most beautiful of all, the Peak of perfection, Paiyu (6600m) first climbed by a Pakistani expedition in 1977. There are scores of over 7000 meters high peaks in the karakoram ranges & hundreds of nameless summits below 6000 meters, In the Lesser Karakorams there are equally great peaks such as Rakaposhi (7788m) the dominant giant in Nager & Hunza Valleys. Its north face is fantastic precipice (5791m) of plunging snow & ice.
The Hindukush is also a mountain vastness containing hundreds of peaks, many above 7000 meters including Trichmir (7705m) that is the highest point of the range. The western bastion of the Himalayas is Nanga Parbat (8125m), once dreaded as the” killer Mountain” but climbed many times by various expeditions since the first disasters.
Longest Glaciers in Pakistan:
Some of the longest glaciers outside polar region flow in the karakorams. The Siachin glacier is 75 km long. The Hisper, (52km) joins the Biafo at the Hisper La (5154m) to form a 116 km long ice corridor. The Batura is 58 km in length. But the most outstanding of these rivers of ice is the Baltoro (62km). This mighty glacier, fed by some 30 tributaries, constitutes a surface area of 1,219 sq km. Seen from a distance, Baltoro appears smooth & beautiful but in fact it is a chaotic tumbling mass of rock & ice, troughs & hillocks & the debris of centuries. It is a unique, remote corner of earth. For here, in a frozen wilderness of crags, cornices & crevasses raise lowering spires of granite, great snowy peaks with fluted icy ridges & pinnacles that pierce the sky.
Silk Route & the Karakoram Highway Pakistan:
For many centuries, caravans have braved these tortuous mountains treading precariously along paths providing shortcuts between the great towns of Central Asia & the rich markets of South Asia. However, the trails were hazardous, angry rivers horrifying to contemplate, & the nature’s storms caused even the most intrepid to quall on the high passes & in the desolate gorges. In 1947, travel in & out of the Northern Pakistan could have been described almost as it had been 15 centuries earlier by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien, in 400 AD , The way is difficult & rugged, running alone a bank exceedingly precipitous, When one approaches the edge of it, his eyes become unsteady, & if wishes to go forward in the same direction, there is no place on which he can place his foot, & beneath are the waters of the river called the Indus, Thus the traders of yore had travelled over this route for centuries & carried silk, tea & porcelain from China to be bartered for gold, ivory, jewels & spices from South Asia.
It is against this backdrop that Pakistan & China joined hands in 1967 to construct a 900 km, Karakoram Highway on the alignment of the ancient Silk Route, for its sheer mountain grandeur 7 breath- taking panorama of beauty, few places on earth can match the superb landscape through which the karakoram highway snakes. A fantastic & unforgettable spectacle is the passage of the highway along the Batura glacier, rated as the World’s seventh largest glacier, The Khunjerab Pass which the highway crosses, & the nearby Mintaka Pass, lie astride the fabulous ancient Silk Route that led from Europe to Asia & over which history’s most famous tourists once travelled. These include the Ventian Marcopolo, after whom has been named the wild Marcoplo Sheep, in the 13th century, the Chinese Monk Fa Hien in the in the 4th century & the Central Asian historian, Abu Rehan Al- Beruni in the 11th Century.
Today, the Karakoram Highway Connects Islamabad with Kashgar (China). Via Abbottabad, Mansehra, Thakot, Besham, Pattan, Chilas, Gilgit & Hunza across the 4733 meters high Khunjerab Pass. The Highway, built by the Pakistani & Chinese engineers, has been described as a marvel of civil engineering & even as ‘ The Eight Wounder of the World; Hunza Adventure Tours Pakistan can book Bus tickets from Sost( Pakistan) to Taxkurgan ( China), for overland traffic betweenPakistan & China, Open from 1st May till 31st December every year.
Mountaineering & Climbing in Pakistan:
Since 1954, when the karakoram range of Pakistan was opened to expeditions for climbing & trekking, the mountains & glaciers of the north have become an international playground. There are hundreds of peaks still lying un-climbed. This is a great challenge for the mountaineers & climbers the World over.
Royalty Fees in 2012:
K-2 7200 US$ for group of 7 climbers and 1200 US$ for additional climbers.
Broad Peak, GI, GII, GIII and Nanga Parbat US$5400 for group of 7 climbers and US$900 for additional climber.
Mashabrum, Gasshabrum IV US$2400 for group of 7 climbers and US$300 for additional climber.
Spantik Peak US$1500 for group of 7 climbers and US$180 for additional climber.
All Peaks routes for mountaineering have been designated as open zone or restricted zone. Permits for climbing peaks in open zone, are issued by the Ministry of Tourism Pakistan, within 24 hours of the receipt of application. However, for peaks routes in restricted zone, permits are issued within 14 days from the date of receipt of the application in Ministry of Tourism Government of Pakistan.
Trekking in North Pakistan:
Northern Pakistan is a Trekker’s Paradise.
Most of the trekking routes lie in the Northern Mountains of the Karakorum, the Himalaya the Hindukush & the Pamir. Trekking Season start from May & end till the end of October. The Ministry of Tourism Government of Pakistan. Has defined trekking as walking below 6000m. It has designated three zones for trekking open, restricted & closed. Foreigners may trek anywhere in open zone without a permit or services of a licensed mountain guide. For trekking in restricted zone, foreigners must deposit a fee of US$ 50 per person per trek to obtain a trekking permit from Ministry of Tourism, it also requires hiring a licensed mountain guide, buying a personal insurance policy for the guide & the porters & attending briefing & de- briefing at the Ministry of Tourism, at the beginning & the end of each trekking trip. No trekking is allowed in closed zones, which are the areas near Pak-Afghan border & near the line of control with Indian held Kashmir.
White Water Sports in Pakistan:
Only those who dare take up the challenge of the frothy white waters of the roaring mountain rivers in Northern Pakistan know the excitement & thrill that such sports offer. Tourists can now undertake white water sports such as rafting, canoeing & kayaking ect. In the rivers Indus, Gilgit, Hunza, Swat. Shigar, Shayok & Kunhar. White water sports in these rivers of Northern Pakistan hold immense potential for the adventure lovers & sportsmen.
Angling in Pakistan:
Rivers & lakes of Northern Pakistan are filled with trout. Popular with the anglers are: Kunhar river, Lake Saiful Maluk, lake Lulusar & lake Dodipatsar in Kaghan valley: Swat river & Mahodand lake in Swat valley, Gilgit river, Phandar lake, Handrab lake (along the Gilgit- Shandur Road). Chitral river & Shandur lake, Astor river & Rama lake in Astor valley: Sadpara & Kachura lakes in Skardu Valley ect. The fishing season lasts from April to September, & permits are available from the local Fisheries Department.
Skiing in Pakistan:
Ski facilities are available at Naltar & Kalabagh( Nathiagali), Anuual ski tournament is organized by Pakistan ski Federation at Naltar in February.
Polo Game in Pakistan:
The favorite sport in Northern Areas is polo, which originated here. It is more rugged, free style version than the sedate variety known in the plains.
A polo tournament is held in Gilgit from 1 to 7 November. However, passion for Polo remains the highest on the Worlds highest Polo ground. Every year, Shandur (3700 meters) invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral & Gilgit from 7th to 9th July. The festival also includes folk music, folk dance, traditional sports & a camping village is be set up on the Pass.
Baltistan spread over 26,000 square kilometers, Baltistan is situated amid the great Himalayas & Karakoram ranges on either side of the mighty Indus & its tributaries, surrounded by Gilgit & Hunza Valleys in the West, Indian held Kargil, Ladakh & Kashmir regions are in the East & Southeast. The Chinese province of Sinkiang lies in the North. It is also known a” Little Tibet” because of its proximity as well as ethnic, cultural & linguistic bondage with Ladakh & Tibet in the East, Baltistan itself consists of six valleys namely Skardu, Shigar, Khaplu, Kharmang, Gultari & Rondu. The city of Skardu (2286m) situated on the left bank of the mighty riverIndus is linked with Islamabad through a 766 kilometers long metailed road. A daily Boeing flight also operates btewwen Islamabad & Skadru.
Every year Baltistan passes through pleasant summer ( 2 dergee C to 40 degree C) from March to September severe winters, freezing . It contains the most spectacular & fascinating mountainous region of the world where hundreds of virgin peaks still lying unclimbed challenging climbers the world over. Hikking among them is an awesome experience but exploring the valleys & the local culture is equally rewarding. The most prominent peaks among these are K-2 (8611meters) second only to Everest, Gasherbrum I & II , Hidden Peak,Broad Peak, Masherbrum, Chogolinga ect. Baltistan also has an extensive glacial chain which includes the 75 kilometers long Siachen glacier, the largest glacier in the world outside the polar region, Concordia, Baltoro ect. Medicnal plants & delicious tempetate fruits specially apricots rich in taste & flavor are abundantly available. Polo matches in Skardu are a great attraction especially on festival occasions. In fact it is a traditional Balti game, which is called “The Game of Kings” or “ The King of Games” It has now become popular throughout Northern Areas including Chitral. During the second week of August each year, a polo tournament is held to mark the liberation of Baltistan from Dogra rule in 1948.
Skardu, capital of Baltistan is perched on 2438 meters above sea level in the backdrop of the great peaks of the karakorums. Balti people are a mixture of Tibetan & Caucasian stock & speak Balti an ancient form of Tibetan.Due to the similarity of its culture, lifestyle & architecture with Tibet, Baltistan is also known as the ( Little Tibet). It borders on the Chinese province of Xinjiang & Indian- Occupied Kashmir. The tourist season is from April to October. The maximum temperature is 27 degree C & minimum October 8 dergee C. Apart from its incomparable cluster of mountain peaks & glaciers Baltistan.s five valleys, Shigar, Skardu, Khaplu, Rondu & Kharmang are noted for their luscious peaches, apricots, apples & pears.
What to See in Baltistan:
Skardu has an ancient Fort known as Kharpocho Fort (king of Forts) situated on a small Buddhisatvas is carved on a rock, three kilometers from Skaedu across Sadpara Nullah on Skardu Sadpara road. Pre- historic men & animals figures are carved on rocks along Kachura Lake. Some rock carving & diagram of a monastery near Perkuta ( Mehdiabad) Nalah are also found.
Upper Kachura (34km), Lower Kachura ( Shangrila-29km) Lake & Sadpara (8km) Lake, are very famous for fishing & boating.
The gateway to the great mountain peaks of the karakorams, Gasherbrum & K-2, is only 23 km away from Skardu via jeep road. Shigar valley’s gentle, irrigated slopes are filled with terraces of wheat, maize & barley its orchards of apricots, mulberries, peaches, plums, pears, apples & nuts are unique to Baltistan. The wooden mosque in the middle of the town was built by Kashmiri carpenters several hundred years ago. There is the ex- Raja’s old Fort & Palace in the village.
This beautiful valley of the Shyok River is 103 km east of Skardu Khaplu is the starting point for most trekking & climbing expeditions, Many famous mountains such as Masherbrum, Saltoro, Sia Kangri, K-6, K-7 are located here. Chaqchan mosque is one of the earliest mosque in Baltistan (1504AD) attributed to Sayed Ali Hamdani. There is a palace of Raja of Khaplu & remains of Thorsikhar Fort.
Nine kilometers south of Skardu is beautiful Satpara Lake, brilliant blue & stocked with rainbow trout. The walk to the lake is a dry, moderately steep three hours (8-9km) climb up Hargisar Nala from the City.
The deosai plains, about 50km southwest of Skardu, comprise an immense, uninhabited grassy plateau, which borders Indian administered Kashmir,No where are the plains lower than about 4000 meters, they are only accessible for about four months each year & snowbound for the rest.
A trek across the plains has become popular jeep trek route between Skardu & Astore valley.
From July to September, you can trek from Astore valley to Skardu in as little as a week. Intrepid mountains bikers have done Astor to Skardu in five days.
Hushe Valley & Mashabrum View:
Those who would like to see gorgeous 7821 meters massif of Mashabrum without trekking to it could try & walk up the Shyok Valley road pass the police checkpoint & the turn off to Hushe Valley towards Surmo.
Hushe is the trekker’s route to Mashabrum & an alternative to Shigar for mountaineers heading towards Concordia. For a close look at Mashabrum you can take a four day, three nights walk on a moderate grade from Khaplu to Hushe & back, with stops at Kande, Hushe & kande again.
Thalay valley gives a glimpse of the Mashabrum range up this valley is three or four day trek from Khasumik over the 4572 meters Thaley La to Shigar.
Shigar Fort Residence:
(The Palace on the Rock).
Built upon a huge boulder at the foot of a steep rock. Shigar Fort/ palace is known locally as Fong Khar, literally, the Palace on the Rock, it is located in oasis, like surrounding, irrigated by the waters from the glaciers of Baltistan, one of the most impressive regions in the karakoram ranges, & unsurpassed in natural beauty & cultural richness.
The complex at Shigar comprises the 400 year old fort/ palace & two more recent buildings, the Old House, & the Garden House. The former palace of the Raja of Shigar has been transformed into a 13 room heritage guesthouse, with the grand audience hall serving as a museum of Balti culture & featuring select examples of fine wood, carving, as well as other heritage objects.
Furnishings in the 13 historic rooms are discreet & tasteful, utilizing simple wooden furniture & hand woven textiles produced by craftsmen from the neighboring village. Original features such as bed niches as integral parts of the rooms. They provide a rare & unique atmosphere, which cannot be experienced anywhere else in Pakistan.
The Garden House has been converted into a guesthouse with seven modern rooms, each including a television, The verandas off each room overlook the traditional Amacha garden, which is shaded by a centuries old Chenar tree & features a Kashmir style pavilion set within a square water basin.
The Old House features the reception a guest lounge, terraces & restaurant areas. There is easy access to the orchards & garden areas, which offer spectacular views & numerous areas for relaxation & leisure activities.
While many visitors choose the Shigar Fort Residence for its beauty & tranquility, there are a variety of activities in the area. These range from hiking to the old Shigar Fort or trekking to K-2 base camp, day hikes to remote valleys & other points of interest such as the Deosai plateau, visits to cultural sites that reflect the unique mix of Hindu, Buddhist & illamic influences, including the Buddha Rocks, & the nearby settlements of Khaplu, Kiris & Kharmang a short hike to the organic village of Nangasoq, near Skardu, a visit to the hot springs at Chutron ( two hours from Shigar), or perhaps a polo match in the birthplace of the game.
Organic Village Nangsoq:
The first organic village of Pakistan, Nangsoq is opened to tourists located at a walking distance of 45 minutes, 2 km, from Skardu main city behind the historic Kharpocho fort, just at the meeting point of the Indus & Shigar Rivers. This village was jointly visited by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan & the Royal Couple of UK Prince Charles & Lady Kumala Parker on April 11, 2006, The route to this organic village is one of the most exciting scenes of the the whole visit to Skardu. It gives the visitors a memorable & surprising experience of trekking simultaneously on narrow but safe mountain path, on sandy bank of the Indus & stony foot of historic Madoqkhar, Un-like other parts of the country, farmers in this village, instead of using modern agricultural machineries & equipments, still follow the centuries old traditional & local tools & plant for cultivation & food production.
At a distance of eight kilometers south of Skardu or 15 minutes drive lies the awesome Sadpara Lake where Sadpara Dam is being constructed. It has clean water full of trout fish & a Fairy Tale Island in the centre.
The lakes are situated at a distance of 30 kilometers west of Sradu. The upper Kachura lake is famous for its natural beauty & the lower Kachura for Shangrilla & Tibet Motel.
A lovely drive of only 10 minutes from Skardu main city the fascinating traditional ancient villages of Sundus & Katpana, will bring you at the bank of picturesque Katpana Lake, where you can watch a large population of migrating ducks swimming in the crystal clear water.
Buddah Rock Carvings:
This historical rock is situated between Skardu city & Sadpara Lake on the bank of Hargisa stream. The images of great Buddha surrounded by his disciples more then 1400 years old sculpture. It was a place of worship for Buddhists till the middle of 14 century AD.
About 350 miles (580km) from karachi on the highway via Dadu lies Moenjodaro which, in the local language, means Mound of the Dead. It is one of the sites of the Indus valley Civilization which flourished here 5000 years ago.
Thar desert of Sindh is yet another area of considerable intrest, its landscape, flora and fauna are totally different then other parts of the country . The rising sand hills which extend without interruption into Rajasthan in India, are dotted with stunted thorny bushes, coctus and small villages where people live in mud plastered conical hutments.
In and around sukhur there are many intresting sites having important historical as well as archacological significance. Sukhur is full of mausoleums of saints. The tomb of Mir masum dominates the skyline of the city and there are several moaques which are attractive.
Pakistan covering over25000 sq. km.It extends south into the Thar desert in Sindh and towards east into India Rajasthan desert.
The mediaeval, memorable, majestic, mysterious and mystique Multan. In fact the history of Multan is the sub- continent every invader from Alexander to the Mouryans. kushans, Huns, Arabs, Ghaznavids, Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and right to the british fought for the control of this magnificent city. it is considered as a city of saints and sufis and mystics. whatever the truth, multan is probably the oldest living city in south Asia.
Harappa is located on an earlier course of the river ravi and like Maenjodaro the excavations have revealed a series of cities, stacked one upon another, with its citadel and great granary, seems similar in many ways to Maenjodaro and like its southern sister city appears to have thrived around 3000-1700Bc. The Harrapan society seems to have been egalitarian, pursuing a rather simple way of life.
Lahore is the city clams attention not only of the politicians, rulers and students of history, archaeology and antiquities, but also of the general and even casual visitors or readers as it offers many interesting places and faces. It is full of life and attracts millions of visitors of every class and cread every year from all parts of Pakistan as well as abroad. It has its own personality and charm not equaled easily by any other city of the subcontinent.
The city sprawls over a plateau about 4500 feet above sea level, but tresses by knife edge, grey mountains of takatu, zarghoon and chiltan etc. these hill ranges vary in the height having their own high points and valleys whose hidden beauties deserve attention and exploration.
This small hill resort is located around 8000 feet above sea level and offers cool-dry climate. Apart from old juniper forest, this is now disappearing fast, the valley of fears abundance of roses and fragrant lavender Bushes which cover significant part of the landscape.
Gwadar is the second largest town of balochistan today. Its beach is excellent, the best in Pakistan, and its mountains area are beautiful too.
Uch Sharif, during the 13th century it was an important center for religious, cultural and literary, pursuits and attracted scholars, saint, poets and pirs from several parts of Asia. The town is now known for its ancient tombs and mosques through much of their glory has been lost but even the ruins are considered as beautiful even today and attract hundreds of visitors.
The Pakistan India border is 29 km (18 miles) from Lahore along the GT road at Wahgah flag ceremonies are held daily, raising in the morning and lowering 30 minutes before the sunsets. This daily routine is colourful and traditional. The Indian and Pakistani soldiers trying for military perfection.
Islamabad the new capital is located in the lap of the margala hills extending far into the murree hills and beyond up to Kashmir. Often dismissed as a modern, characterless city, Islamabad has certain attractions of its own, with its wide trees lined avenues and parks, gardens and fountains giving it an air of spacious senses and abundant greenery. Its main asset is its setting at the foot of the margala hills which dominate the city rising up to 1580 meters (5184 feet).
Murree also called as Malika-e-Kohsar, (Queen of the hills) lies on one of the outer Himalayan spurs, in the north-east of Islamabad.
About 10 km from and known for its first class nine halls mini golf course amongst the hills which attract a large number of enthusiasts. There is a golf club, a rest house and one of the most spectacular resort hotels.
Nathiagali with its fascinating landscape, refreshing walks, bracing climate, beautiful ridges thickly covered with pines, chest net, oak and maple, and above all, its quiet, calm an
Its great attractions is its altitudes and therefore cool climate during the summer months, as well as the beauty of the surrounding valley and mountains.
Shogran is located at 2400m above sea level. It is the most beautiful place in the Kaghan valley and ideal for spending a weekend. You can either track up to summer pastures at about 2700m to the forest rest house (2 hrs walk) or trek down to kawai on the main Balakot. Kaghan road, through a dense pine forest. The walk up to summer pasture could be more exciting as you could see malika Parbat (5296m) the highest mountain in Kaghan valley, and whose shadow in the clear white water of Saif-ul-Maluk adds to the beauty of this legendry lake. hiking is superlative.
ATTRACTION OF KALASH VALLEY
The northern area holds immense use potentials for tourism. Kalash is most important valley of Chitral northern areas in their beauty regarding to unique culture, their religion, mountains and their natural beauty. Bumburate valley in Chitral is very unique geographic region. Its mountain posses high peaks. Most of tourists are coming here only for mountains; some tourists are coming here for hiking fishing and see the different cultures of the area.
The Kalash People firmly believe in One God, the Creator of the Universe . They have unique culture, ancient language, distinguish festivals and ceremonies and amazing dresses.
Kalash culture is a very unique culture in the world, its have their own identity, and Kalash are famous all over the world on their culture. Their way of life is very much different from other parts of Chitral. The people of Kalash have many festivals in their culture. All these festivals are in a specific occasions and these festival, also attracts the tourist. Many of tourist are coming here only to see Kalash culture, they may be dresses and dancing etc.
In Kalash there is prevailing joint family system and patriarchal system. The aged person of the family is considered as the head of the family. He took all decisions according his own free well. No distinctive changed occur in their family.
The boys and girls of this family can freely and frankly propose each other for marriages. There is another kind of marriage, which is totally arranging marriage. It is on the agreement of their parents. Man is authorizing in marring twice, if the first marriage is not successful. (Mostly the marriage is in their festivals).
The temperature of Kalash is very pleasant in summer month but in winter the climate is harsh because the temperature come down from 0°C to negative. The maximum temperature of Kalash valley is between 23°C to 27°C and the mean minimum temperature is between 2°C to 1°C.
In winter the valleys are in grip of cold northerly wind and hazard. The extreme minimum temperature recorded in the valleys has been -4.8°C to -15°C for the month of January and February. These valleys get rainfall between 700mm to 800mm. From December to march occasionally even later, snowfall is quite frequent Kalash valley is 30% forest.
1) JOSHI O CHILMJUSHT (14th - 15th may) Function is organized to pay thanks to Almighty. They celebrate the arrival of spring season with new hopes and aspiration.
2) UCHAO O UTCHAL (19th - 20th august) Kalash celebrate Uchao to pay homage to almighty because of grapes and other fruit ripe. They prepare wine, cheese, corns etc. and rejoice Uchao.
3) CHOIMUS (7th to 22nd december) Choimus is a winter festival celebrated to welcome the New Year. The entire population remains indoor. It is celebrated by feasting drinking and merry making. It is thanks giving function to Almighty for their bumper crops, fruits, animals and store eatable for winter. Winter is full of snow, rain and cold wind. People ssacrifice animals in the name of Almighty, rejoice with wine, fruit, assemble for dancing, singing and enjoy every event and moment.
4) PHOOL FESTIVAL Is only held in Birir valley around end of September to celebrate the grape and walnut harvest. Grape being a staple requirement in the Kalash society for making wine are grown on trees in protected sites. The holy tree being the best for such climbers. They are picked through out the valley on a particular day and is an occasion for joy and merry making.. It is also an occasion of the shepherds returning from the high pastures
Kalasha Female Guide Miss Syed Gul are very good friend of mine and we are working on kalasha tourism.
Garam Chashma valley (Hot Spring)
is Located on the northwest of Chitral town close to Afghan Border which is used to be a huge trading point for lapis lazuli. It Yields aquamarine with some of the deepest blues available. Different mines at different altitudes. Upper one produces the deepest blues. It is still relatively unknown location (even among Peshawar sellers!), as local aquamarines are usually labelled as coming from Chitral without more precision.
Large garnets (probably almandine), tangerine to fist-size are not uncommon.
Tourmaline production is very limited, rather small brownish to black crystals embedded in hard matrix.
Flora & Fauna
The hills in the south are covered with pine, deodar and fir forests, while the valleys are rich in mulberries, apricots, apples pears, grapes, pomegranates and melons. There are also Chinar and walnut trees in this area. Big game including the world renowned snow leopard (panthers) markhor, deer, ibex, urial, wolves, black bear and many more are found in the mountains, which are protected by the wildlife branch of the Forest Department. Among the famous birds are Chikor, ram Chikor and murgh Zarreen.
When to Go
In winter the road ways routes are inaccessible and remain blocked due to heavy snowfall during which time road access is only possible from Peshawar. The best time to visit this valley is from May till October.
SHOOTING (Kalasha valleys/garam chashma)
There is an abundance of wildlife. In order to curb extinction, limited shooting is allowed during the specified season. Shooting of world famous snow leopard (panther), Murgh Zarreen (golden peasant) and musk deer is banned. Chitral Gol (stream) has been declared a wild life sanctuary and therefore no shooting is allowed in the area. Permits for limited shooting are required.
Birmoghlash (summer palace)
Elevation: 2743 meters (9,000 feet). Distance: 15 km (9 miles). Worth visiting is the fairy-tale summer palace of the Ex-Ruler perched at a height of 2743 meters (9,000) feet. It offers awe-inspiring views of Trichmir and Panoramic vistas of valleys below. The fort is approachable on foot only.
The majestic Hindu Kush reigns supreme over the valley. The highest peak is the famous Trichmir, which soars 7700 meters (25,264 feet) high, and is a challenge to mountaineers. There are a number of other exciting peaks too-Isltornal, Banizom, Saraghar, Naushaq, Ghocharsor, Phal, Daspar and Don rising from 6096 meters to 7315 meters (20,000 to 24,000 feet). Only experienced mountaineering can do In order to avoid disappointment, foreign tourists are advised to apply well in advance for permission from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Islamabaad.
The rivers in Chitral are teeming with fish, especially the Lotkuh River that is famous for trout. There are also trout hatcheries in Chitral and Bumburet.Angling is allowed during the season only i.e from April to September, Fishing permits are required.
Taxila is one of the famous archeological sites of the Gandhara period and there are hundreds of legends spun around the Taxila sites, ruins of which can be seen even today. It remained center of Buddhism for centuires and thus is a must for all those who visit North of Pakistan.
The heaven on Earth is physically the scythe- shaped. The territory of Azad jammu and Kashmir is dotted with a vast chain of scenic and natural beauty spots amidst flowing steams, gushing out springs and flowering plants. The mountain tops over the valleys look like circular and rectangular caps. The panorama is really pleasing.
Peshawar is the main entreport to the planes of Pakistan,is one of the oldest cities of Asia.
For over two thousands of years it has been the gossiping,marketing,and meeting place for the
people of central Asia,the middle east and the subcontinent of Pakistan and India etc.
Chitral located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan is a beautiful valley in the Hindukush range of Mountains. It has always been a very important route for many invaders to south East Asia, Including Alexander the great Scythians, Mangol Changez Khan and numerous others. Chitral is a small town with a one single street bazaar and a few tourist class hotels. At the end of Bazaar on the right (River side) there is the Chitral fort and Palace of Mehtar In front of the Fort is the Jami Mosque of Chitral an impressive architecture with beautiful inlays and decorations. You can get to Chitral from Peshawar or Swat via Dir thru the Lowari tunnel. From Gilgit you can get a Jeep to take you to Phander (Below Shandur Pass) you must overnight at Phandar PTDC Motel or Phandar guest house and later continue to Chitral next day.
Gilgit is a town of orchards of ,fields, shops and springs,houses and streets appears to have placed
there quite naturally.People are never far from nature.The shops run almost in two.three rows over
a mile or so interspersed by school and municipal offices.
The shangrilla of Pakistan,located in the Northern Areas of the country, is surrounded by high
mountains deep glaciers and fruit laden gardens.The clear air and natural diets of hunza people
help them to live long and happy lives.
Skardu has been a dream land of the mountaineers from all parts of the World for over hundreds of
years.It is to the northeast of skardu that the karakorum mountains assume their most impressive
and unyeilding characters.
It contrasts sharply with ring of jagged rocky mountains that surrounds it on all sides.Gently rolling
hills extends into the distance as far as the eyes can see clothed in a soft cladding of vegetation and
carpeted with brighted coloured flowers in summer.The plateau is population free rivers flow past
crystal clear and icy cold.
Kaghan valley is 160 kilometers long.kaghan valley is sat amongst the lush green panorom.At
the northern adge of the monsoon belt,kaghan supports an abundance of vegetation.The lower slopes are well cultivated with spectacular terraces,higher up.
the mountains are clothed in forest of himalayan pines and fir with snow cover
peaks looming above.
About 240 kilometers long,the picturisque.Neelum valley is situated to the north
and north east of Muzafar Abad.running parallel to the kaghan valley,it is seperated from it by snow covered peaks,someover 4000meters above sea level.
excellent scenic beauty,panoramic view,towering hills on both sides of the noisy
Neelum river,lush green forests,enchanting streams,high altitude lakes and attractive surroundings make the valley a dream come true.
Karakorum High Way
The karakorum high way follows one of the principle silk road routes.Pakistani proudly
refers to the road as the eighth wonder of the World.The KKH was carved into the Indus
valley above the furious torrents of the Indus river,right up through the Hunza valley and over the mighty Karakorum mountains via Khunjerab pass to China.
About Peshawar City
(The Gateway to Central Asia).
Peshawar is a city of many splendors; it is the city of the brave. It is
embedded in history, having been in existence as far back as 4000 years
BC. Over the centuries, the inhabitants of Peshawar have witnessed the
march of many conquerors, some ruthless, some brave & magnanimous. It is a
city of legends & of folklore. Proud, rugged & fierce as they may appear,
Pathans inhabiting this age old city are a very hospitable people.
Peshawar also retains much of its traditions, old grandeur & character,
having been in the path of all major invasions of the Sub- continent.
As the invading armies rolled down the historic Khyber Pass, Peshawar saw
the march of Alexander’s warriors as well as those of the Huns, the
Mughals & so on. Later in history, Peshawar also witnessed the march
reverse direction as the British who held sway over other parts of the Sub- continent, tried to establish a foothold around the valley & beyond
to maintain accessibility to the north through the Khyber Pass, Although
the Pathans took over the area in & around. Peshawar at the end of the
seventh century, the Muslims first conquered the area including Peshawar
in the tenth century AD it was not until the beginning of the sixteenth
century AD that the Mughals achieved a firm foothold in Peshawar & beyond
into the Sub-continent with Emperor laying the foundation of the famous
Mughal dynasty which continued to rule the sub-continent with grace &
grandeur for more than centuries.
Although conquered by the Greeks & ruled in turn by Buddhists, Sikhs & the
Mughals & despite being annexed by the British until independence in 1947,
Peshawar is a city of devout Muslims. The successive invasions have helped
to enrich the cultural mosaic of the city. It is, therefore, not uncommon
even today to find an old village bearing a Greek name. The people are
handsome with sharp features closely resembling those of the Greeks.
Places of Interest:
Qissa Khawani Bazaar: Side by side with wide boulevards & modern avenues, Peshawar retains the
narrow lanes & streets as well as the typical crowded oriental bazaars,
overflowing with goods & people.
Among the most famous of the Peshawar bazaars is the Qissa Khawani
Bazaars, immortalized by the British poet & writer Rudyard Kipling as the
street of the story tellers. The Peshawar bazaars flourished as the city
has traditionally been a wholesale market for goods transported across the
Khyber Pass to & from Afghanistan & the Sub continent. In fact it has also
been a resting post for merchants carrying their wares beyond Afghanistan
into Central Asia. For any visitor to Peshawar, Qissa Khawani is an
unavoidable haunt. It retains all the romanticism & chivalry that has been
the hallmark of the area. Tribesmen & traders gather here to exchange news
& anecdotes & to haggle & bargain. As the fierce but friendly, warm &
hospitable Pathans chatter & gossip between cups of sweet tea, brightly
painted & gaily decorated trucks vans & cars pass by, with all horns
blaring. The bazaar also has all other trappings of the oriental market
place with street vendors dispensing health pills, fore telling fortunes &
the snake charmers alluring people towards their baskets full of snakes,
minus the venom of course.
Bala Hisar Fort:
For the visitors, Peshawar offers more than the chram of its bazaars & its
people. There is the Bala Hisar Fort built by the Mughal Emperor Babar in
the early sixteenth century.
Masjid Mahabat Khan:
The mosque built in 1630 AD by Mahabat Khan, the Mughals governer of
Peshawar is a marvelous piece of architecture, through lost its original
glory, long ago. This was yet another feather in the cap of Engineer,
Shahjehan (1628 – 1658 AD), it is still one of the impressive religious
buildings.situated in the Andar Shahar Bazaar.
The Pehawar Museum:
To see the most invaluable collection from various archaeological sites,
one must visit the Peshawar Museum. You can see relics of different
civilizations especially Gandhara period (300 BC – 300 AD) on display in
scientifically arranged galleries. The treasure trave tells you the untold
history of the region.
Islamia College, Peshawar University:
Islamia College is a historical place Founded by Sahibzada Abdul Qaiyum,
an educationist of British period, the College later served as awareness
creator among the populace, willing to fight for the cause of freedom.
Some of the most renowned personalities were students of this prestigious
institute, which later became a part of Peshawar University.
Excursions from the City:
The road west of Peshawar leads up to the historic & immortal Khyber. The
drive through the Khyber Pass, the scene of innumerable battles &
insurgencies, brings you face to face with the indomitable Afridi Pathans
who could never be effectively subjugated by the British with all their
might & strength. They are a people who would never bow their heads in
subjugation but act with spontaneous friendliness & hospitality when they
The Khyber Pass bears many mementos of the numerous invasions dating back
to many centuries. The most visible, however, are those of the British
presence in the area during the later half of the last century & the first
half of the present. At a number of points along the Pass, you will see
insignias of various British regiments carved into the rocks.
Situated near the Baab-e- Khyber or Khyber Gate, this is an old fortress,
built by famous Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa, who lost his life fighting
against the forces of Amir of Kabul in 1837.
Is the last railway station of Pakistan, lying en-route the Pak- Afghan
Border. An Old bazaar offers little attraction to the tourists with the
sale of arms & imported goods.
Khalty Gupis Valley
One of the gigantic tasks that the Pakistani engineers ever performed in
Country’s history is multi- purpose Warsak Dam. Situated 30 km north-west
of Peshawar, the Dam has a total capacity of 240,000 KW & can serve to
irrigate 110,000 acres of land.
The Kohat Pass is situated about 40 km south of Peshawar, in the tribal
territory. The tribes got fame through manufacturing best quality of
weapons. They are very intelligent in copying & making exact replicas of
Dates back from 2nd to 3rd century AD the site presents the highly
developed structure of a Buddhist monastery in the form of remains only.
It is located atop a 160 meters high hill, some 80 km from Peshawar.
The bazaars of Peshawar are buyer’s delight. Craftsmanship is of an
exceptionally high standard with brass & copper-work, intricately carved
woodwork & handsome designed Peshawari sandals being the principal
The capital of NWFP is well connected by rail, road & air with other parts
of the county. The Pak- Afghan Border at Torkham is a place of recalling
the rich history when warriors would enter into the lands of frontier
province to proceed for conquering India.
Welcome to the Trout valley for a unique Experience in Nature, Culture &
Khalty Lake, paradise for Anglers:
Northern Areas at a glance.
The Northern Areas nestled among the Karakoram, Hindukush & Himalaya is
considered as a piece of paradise on earth. The gigantic mountain ranges,
lush green valleys, glaciers, rivers lakes, picturesque pastures & above
all the culture & living patterns of people make it a unique place
especially for tourists & visitors. Thousands of visitors from around the
world visit & enjoy the beauty & tranquility in these mountainous areas
administratively it has been divided into six districts: Astore, Skardu,
Khaplu & Ghizer.
Situated in district Ghizer Valley, Khalty is one of the most attractive
places in Gupis Valley. It is on the crossroad to the famous Shandur pass
which links the Northern Areas of Pakistan to Chitral in the Northwest
frontier province of Pakistan. It offers a variety of attractions for
those who wish to enjoy nature in its various shapes. The view of the area
is breathtaking as it broadens out with green fields laced with poplar
trees. The hallmark of Khalty is the stunning Khalty Lake, which is abode
to the famous trout fish introduced by a British in 1914. Gupis has a
historical significance as it was the route of early Buddhist pilgrims who
used to travel from China to Gandhara Swat & other pilgrimage sites in
South Asia. This area was also a means of access for invading armies from
Chitral & other Kingdoms to the North.
Like other important sites in Gupis Valley, Khalty has a rich variety of
historical & natural attractions which are beyond imagination. Visitors
from across the world have so far visited this area but the hidden
treasures in various forms & shapes are still unknown to rest of the
world. Some of the attractions include:
The existence of archaeological sites testifies the historical
significance of this area & makes it unique even today mainly from the
perspective of historians, archaeologists & visitors, Megalithic circles &
carved stones enrich the archaeological heritage of Khalty area as well as
the entire Gupis Valley.
On the way to Gupis there are some places along the way where boulders
have fallen down the mountain & have come to rest in the middle of the
fields they are ominous sights. One imagines that they must have shattered
while falling, these broken pieces of rock look like pieces of a jigsaw
puzzle lying close to each other. At the junction of Yasin & Gupis River,
there is an archaeologbutical site which is 3500 years old & is home to
variety of megalithic circles in the place called Dewano Das. The shapes &
sizes of these megaliths very & it is an amazing place to see these
wonders. Those who have had the opportunity to see such wonders in media
or print may have enjoyed it but an eye witness can only imagine the real
pleasure of being amidst these amazing megalithic circles.
Khalty has yet another attraction in the form of stone carvings. The
impressions of different animals made on these stones remind us of the
artistic nature & aesthetic sense of the people who lived in these
mountainous areas thousands of years ago. It also depicts the existence of
variety of animals in these areas which have now become extinct or exist
in limited numbers.
Nature at its peak in Khalty Gupis Valley:
The landscape & terrain of Gupis speaks volume about the variety in
natural beauty. There are a number of places which have unique
characteristics & each place has its own identity. Key sites of attraction
include Hamerdas, Jandrote, Khalty, Dahimal, Bathraith, Thingai, Pingal,
Shamaran, Phander, Gulakhmuli, Handrap & Teru.
The existence of stunning lakes coupled with rivers make a value addition
to the richness of the entire valley in terms of tourism. The river flows
through a narrow gorge to enter the Gupis Valley where it spreads out into
many branches bisecting the fields at many places & the many streams
interlacing with each other as they shimmer in the sun to give it a unique
look as it travels along the valley towards Gilgit.
The mountains on either side of the valley tower up towards the sky & in
some areas the clouds hug the sides of the mountains to cover the peaks.
Once you happen to visit this gorgeous valley, you will just have the
opportunity to enjoy much more beyond your imagination.
In the Khalty Lake & its surrounding areas, there are a lot of attractions
for visitors which include.
The famous Khalty Lake lies towards Phunder, the expanse of the lake
stretches to about 12 to 15 km & is 1 to 2 km wide. The water is as calm
as a satin sheet; Khalty Lake is the home of trout fish. Angling is the
famous sport here & is unique all over the Northern Areas. Tug of war with
these boneless animals is a unique experience which gives both pleasures &
nutrition. Fishing is allowed in between April & October each year as the
rest of time is breeding season. Fishing licenses are available for daily
or seasonal fishing. Latest equipments for fishing are available for sale
or on rent.
Across the glittering & crystal clear water, boating is yet another
thrilling experience amidst the lush green valleys. The rich & ready wheat
fields gives a feeling of being closer to the magnanimity of nature. There
is a small green spot across the Khalty Lake adjacent to the mountain
which is a unique resort for taking rest & enjoying the breathtaking scene
of the lake & the entire valley.
The landscape of Khalty valley is quite thrilling & heartening for
trekking. A blend of hilly, sloppy & plane areas offer fantastic
opportunities for trekking & enjoying the beautiful scenes of the valley.
For those travelers who wish to stay in tents in these valleys we can
provide them . there are many options for camping near the beautiful lakes
or on different destinations while trekking.
River Crossing with Pulleys:
While crossing the gorgeous river with the help of rope & pulleys, one may
marvel the river reflecting like molten silver in the sun. It is a unique
experience with joy, thrill & excitement whilst crossing these rivers
during the summer.
The Climate & People:
The most important aspect of this area is the climate which is just unique
& matchless. The fragrant air which is just pure, the fresh water, healthy
& traditional food & above all the hospitality of the people make this
area distinctive from any area in the world where tourists visit.
Venturing on this beautiful journey is a life time experience & Compels
one to visit this area again & again.
Lahore the Mughal Show Window:
Lahore has been the capital of Punjab for nearly 1000 years. Besides being
the Mughal Show Window, Lahore is the cultural academic & intellectual
centre of Pakistan. For 200 years, beginning from about 1525 AD, Lahore
remained a thriving cultural center of the Mughal Empire, when it was
beautified with palaces, gardens, monuments & moques.During the British
regime, many monuments sprang up in Lahore, which blended beautifully with
the Mughal, gothic & Victorian styles of architecture.
Legend has it that the city was founded by two sons of Rama about 4000
years ago. Reminiscence of its hoary past are the remains of a
subterranean temple (attributed to Rama the legendary hero of Ramayana)
found in the northern part of the Royal Fort, Hieun, tsang, the famous
Chinese pilgrim has given a vivid description of Lahore city, which he
visited in the early 7th century AD Abu Rehan Muhammad bin Ahmed Al-
Biruni, in his Tarikh-e- Hind, at the time of Mahmud Gazni’s invasion also
mentioned Lahore in detail.
Lying on the main trade & invasion route of South Asia, Lahore has been
ruled, built & plundered by a number of dynasties & hordes, From 1024 to
1186, it was governed by Mehmud of Ghazni & the Ghaznavid dynasty, then by
Muhammad of Ghor & finally by the various Sultans of Delhi.
However, it touched the zenith of its glory during the rule of the great
Mughals (1524-1752) who were fond of art, architecture & culture, gave
Lahore some of its finest monuments that are extant today.
Monuments, Mosques & Shrines:
The Royal Fort (world Heritage Site).
The Mughal Emperor Jalal uddin Muhammad Akbar held his court in Lahore
from 1584- 1596 AD. He built the massive Lahore Fort in 1566 AD on the
foundation of an old mud fort dating back to 1021 AD & enclosed the city
within a red brick wall boasting 12 gates. The Royal Fort is rectangular
in shape (380x 330 meters). Two main gates are located alongside the
centre of the western & eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal emperor as
well as the Sikhs & the British in their turn, added a pavilion palace
gate or wall to the fort. The complete tour of the fort takes around one &
a half hour
The entrance is through Alamgirl Gate built in 1674 by Aurangzeb Alamgir.
A ramp leads from Alamgirl Gate to Mussamah Burj Gate on the left & on the
right, to the Royal Kitchens, Maktab Khana was built by Jehangir in 1618
Moti Masjid (built by Shah Jehan in 1644) isentered via steps rising from
the courtyard north of Maktab Khana Diwan-e- Aam ( Hall of Public Audience
) is an open pavilion with 40 pillars built by Shah Jehan in 1631 (
restructured by the British in 1841). The marble pavilion & red sandstone
balcony were originally built by Akbar in 1566 alongwith Diwan-e- Khas
(Half of Private audience) behind the balcony Masiti or masjidi gate east
of Diwan-e- Khas was the original main gate built by Akbar & receives its
name from the Maryiam Zamani mosque located outside the gate Jehangir’s
Quadrangle, north of Diwan-e- Aam, are one of the most attractive area of
the Fort. Started by Akbar in 1566 & completed by Jehangir in 1617, the
building in the east, west & south side of the court reflect typical
Akbari style with richly carved red sandstone columns & elaborate animal
shaped brackets, Khawabgah-e- Jehangiri ( Jehangir’s sleeping chambers)
the main building on the north, houses an interesting musem containing an
ivory model of the Taj Mahal, some excellent illustrated manuscripts,
pieces of calligraphy, miniature paintings, collection of coins & portrait
of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar. The Hammam ( Jehangir’s
Bathhouse) is in the southwest corner of the quadrangle. A musem west of
the bath, (the sleeping chamber of Mai Jandan) contains a fine collection
of Mughal & Sikh arms & paintings Shah Jehan’s Quadrangle is the building
complex to the north. It consists of his sleeping chambers (1633). The
fresco of Radha & Krishna in the main room here dates back to Sikh period,
Shah Jehan’s Diwan-e- Khas (1645) is the graceful arcaded pavilion of
marble on the northern side of the Quadrangle. The Lai Burj (Red Tower –
built between 1617& 1631 by Jehangir & Shah Jehan) is the octagonal summer pavilion in the northwest corner of shah jehan’s Quadrangle Adjacent to
it is the zenana sehan ( Ladies Courtyard) built by shah jehan in 1633.
The kala burj (Black Tower) atwin summer pavilion to the Lal burj is in
the northwest corner of the ladies courtyard . The court of the shish
mahal ( the palace of mirrors) is the most beautiful palace in the Fort.
It was built by Shah Jehan in 1631 as private apartments for his empress.
The whole of the interior is covered with mirror mosaics, carved & gilded
plasterwork & pietra dura inlay. The Naulakha pavilion named for nine lace
rupees it cost to build in 1631 is a small marble room on the western side
of the court. This side of the Shish mahal courtyard has excellent views
of the Badshahi mosque & the Samadhi Ranjit Singh.
At the end of your tour, you will come out of the Shish Mahal & turn to
the right & down the broad, shallow steps of Hathi Paer (Elephant Path).
This was the private entrance of the Royal Family leading straight to Shah
Burj. As you leave the Fort through the Shah Burj Gate, you can notice 350
years old mosaics set into the outer face of the Fort wall.
The imperial of the Badshahi mosque is across the courtyard from the
Alamgiri gate of the Lahore Fort. The mosque made up entirely of red
sandstone, was built by Empperor Aurang zeb in a record time of two & a
half year. It was completed by 1674 AD; it has a beautiful spacious portal
which measures 21.33 meters in height & a courtyard that measures 161.5 X
160.6 meters. It is said to be the largest mosque courtyard in the world
for outdoor prayers. The marble domes cover seven prayer chambers. Four
lofty minarets stand at the four corners of the mosque, each with an outer
circumference of 20 meters, soaring up to 54 meters, in the chambers above
the gate of the mosque ,are housed relics attributed to the Holy Prophet
of Islam ( peace be upon Him). His daughter & his son-in-law. These are
said to have been brought to South Asia by Amir Taimur. Within the mosque,
almost all the colors have been used to paint the floral designs but the
overall effect remains one of sobriety, elegance, piousness & simplicity.
Shalimar Gardens (World Heritage Site):
Five kilometers east of the Old City on the GT road, are the famous
Shalimar Gardens, laid out by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1642 AD.
The Gardens are spread out in typical Mughal style & are surrounded by
high walls with watchtowers at the four corners. Originally, the Gardens
were spread over seven ascending terraces but only three remain now, which
cover an area of about 42 acres. The brickwork of the floors of the three
terraces has been restored according to the original patterns, which
differ on each terrace. At the end of the first terrace, there is a marble
pavilion under which water flows & cascades down over a carved, marbel
slab creating a waterfall effect. Across the waterfall, is a marble
throne. At the end of second terrace, is a beautiful structure called
Sawan Badhon, a sunken tank with niches on its three sides. Water cascades
down from it in sheets in front of the niches, producing the sound of the
falling rain. In the olden times a oil lamps were placed in the niches,
which reflected myriad colors, through the water, Shalimar Gardens have
the privilege of being the stage of many important state receptions.
Outsides lights on the first & the second terraces of the Gardens have
been installed & the area is illuminated half an hour after sunset.
Wazir Khan’s Mosque & Shahi Hammam (The Royal Bath):
To visit the most beautiful Mosque of South Asia, you will have to enter
the Kashmiri Bazaar through Delhi gate, Shahi Hammarn is just inside the
gate on the left. The Wazir Khan’s Mosque is about 300 meters further
inside the bazzar & on the left. The Mosque & the Hammam were built in
1634 by Hakim limuddin, popularly known as Wazir Khan, from Chital, the
Governor of Punjab under Shah Jehan, made of bricks, this unique mosque is
decorated with brightly colored glazed mosaics of Mughal floral designs on
a clear yellow background.
Sunehri Masjid (The Golden Mosque):
It is situated at the other end of Kashmiri bazaar. The Mosque was built
in 1753 by Nawab Syed Bhikari Khan, it is a remarkably beautiful mosque
with there golden domes.Maryam Zamani Mosque:
Maryam Zamani was one of the Queens of Emperor Akbar. In 1614 she built a
mosque near Masiti gate or the Lahore Fort. It is also called as, Segum
Shahi Mosque. With its fine fresco paintings, the mosque depicts the
sophisticated taste of the Mughal imperial harem.
Dai Anga’s Mosque:
Dai Anga (wet- nurse of Shah Jehan, real name Zeb-un-Nisa) was wife of
Murad Khan, the magistrate of Bikaner under the Mughals. She constructed
this mosque in 1635 near today’s Lahore Railway Station. It is embellished
of Mr. Henry Cope, the first editor of Lahore Chonicle. The mosque was
resorted in 1903.
Dara Shikoh’s Mosque:
Dara Shikoh, son of Emperor Shah Jehan & brother of Aurangzeb loved Lahore
due to his deep devotion for Sufi Saint Hazrat main Mir. During that time
the area surrounding the shrine of Hazrat Mian Mir was called Darapur,
where Dara Shikoh built a mosque with exquisitely styled, palki domes.
Mausoleum of Emperor Jehangir:
The tomb of the fourth great Mughal Emperor Jehangir, lies five kilometers
northwest of the city centre across the Ravi River, along GT road at
Shahdara. About 700 meters past Toll plaza on the ravi Bridge, turn right& follow the road for 600 meters before turning left to cross the railway
line, About 700 meters further on is the massive Mughal gateway. The
fresco-covered gateway of red bricks leads into Akbari Sarai built by Shah
Jehan in 1637. It is a spacious garden quartered by footpaths & planted
with huge chinar, shisham, peepul & Banyan trees. Around the four sides
are 180 small rooms. On the eastern side, a red sandstone portal, inlaid
with marble, leads into another Mughal garden with exact geometric
patterns balancing each side. The marble tomb of Jehangir (died in 1627),
is approached from four corridors leading from this garden. Three of these
corridors are closed by intricate marble screens. The marble grave is
elaborately inlaid with floral designs & the 99 attributes of Allah are
inscribed on its two sides. On the top, is a verse from the Holy Quran.
The tomb was built by Queen Noor Jehan & the Emperor’s son, Shah Jehan,
Asif Khan’s Mausoleum:
The tomb of Asif Khan Jehangir’s brother in-law & father of Shah Jehan’s
beloved Queen Arjumand Bano, is on the opposite (west) side of the Akbari
Sarai. A passage on the left of handsome red sandstone mosque that stands
opposite the gate of the Jehangir’s Tomb, leads through to Asif Khan’s
tomb, its bulbous dome is visible from the Akbari Sarai as it looms over
the top of the mosque.
Noor Jehan’s Tomb:
The Empress Noor Jehan, “Light of the World” was the only Mughal empress
whose name appeared on the coins of the Empire. She was buried in 1645 at
Shahdara outside Jehangir’s mausoleum, across the railway line. Her tomb
once had a marble cenotaph, which she had built herself during her
lifetime. The tomb suffered extensive damages along with her husband’s
tomb at the hands of Sikhs when they gained power in Punjab in the
beginning of the 19th century.
Kamran’s Baradari (12 archways), the oldest Mughal building in Lahore,
was built in 1540 by Mirza Kamran, son of Babar & step-brother of
Humanyun, it was built as a summer house & remained a recreational place
for the Mughals till the Ravi river changed its course during the period
of Aurangzeb Alamgir. The Baradari has become now an island in the middle
of the river (visit by boat downstream from the Ravi Bridge on GT road. Zebunnisa’s Tomb Garden:
Zebunnisa was the talented & learned daughter of Aurangzeb. She was a
great poetess & wrote under the pen name of Makhfi. Addressing the
waterfall in the Shalimar Garden. She sang:‘ O waterfall why are you lamenting.
And what grief wrinkles your face?
What was your pain, that all through the night?
You were striking you’re head on the rocks & crying.
Zebunnisa built a garden at Nawankot where she was buried after her death,
in 1669 AD. Her tomb was once furnished with costly stones, pavilions &
fountains. The remains of her extensive garden still exist with its certal
gateway & two corner towers & speak high of the elegant taste of this 17th
century Mughal Princess.
Saru Wala Maqbara:
The tomb of Sharif UN Nissa Begum is popularly known as Saru Wala Maqbara
because of the images of cypress (saru) trees on its walls Sharif un Nissa
was the water of a Mughal noble. She built a tower where she studied Quran
every day. Respecting her wishes after her death. She was buried in the
chamber of same tower along with a copy of the holly book & her jeweled
sword. This unusual tower like tomb is 16 feet above the ground.
Ali Mardan Khan’s Tomb:
The tomb of Ali Mardan Khan is accessible by a 300 meters long walkway,
relieved by an interesting pattern of light & shade filtering through the
lattice roof, Ali Mardan Khan was a noble at the court of Safvid King.
After surrender of Qandhar by Iranians to Emperor Shah Jehan in 1638, he
joined the Mughal court & was appointed Governor of Kashmir & Lahore, also
attaining the title of Amir-ul-Umara (Lord of Lords) He was a skilled
engineer & built a number of canals including the one that feeds Shalimar
Gardens, He died in 1657 AD & was buried in the tomb that he had built for
Nadira Begum’s Tomb & Garden:
Nadira Begum was the wife of Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shah
Jehan, She is buried in a square shaped tomb near the shrine of Hazrat
Mian Mir to whom the princely couple was spiritually attached. Constructed
with massive brick masonry, the two story structure of the tomb was
originally built as a Baradari, surrounded by an enormous water tank.
The tomb of Anarkali is one of the most significant buildings of the
Mughal period, ingeniously planned octagonal building it is a memorial of
the love- legend of prince Saleem ( Emperor Jahangir). According to a
legend to a legend, Nadira Begum, with the title of Anarkali belonged to
the harem of Emperor Akbar Suspecting Jahangir’s intense passion for the
beautiful Anarkali, Akbar ordered Anarkali to be buried alive in a brick
wall. She died in 1599 AD. & her tomb was later constructed by Jahangir in
1615 AD Circular in shape & roofed by a lofty dome; the tomb was once
surrounded by a garden called Anarkali Garden. During the Sikh rule, the
mausoleum was occupied by Kharak Singh, Later it served as the residence
of General Ventura, the Italian General of Ranjit Singh’s army Under the
British the tomb was converted into a Church. Since 1891, it has been used
as Punjab Archives Museum with an amazing treasure for those interested in
the history of British Punjab.
Wazir Khan’s Baradari:
Located in the rear of Lahore Museum is an elegant structure of Wazir
Khan’s Baradari. The building is named after its founder, Hakim Limuddin
(titled Wazir Khan), The Baradari ( 12 doorways) was originally surrounded
by a fine garden with large number of date palm trees. The existing
two-story pavilion like structure is dominated by handsome arches & corner
towers, capped by cupolas Today, the Baradari is used as a part of Punjab
Public Library attracting the learners to laud this lovely monument.
Qutbuddin Albak’s Tomb:
Aibak was appointed Governor of India in 1191 AD, by Muhammad Ghauri. He
established the Slave Dynasty on the death of Muhammad Ghauri in 1206 when
he assumed independence of his reign & was followed by nine other Slave
Kings. He was a patron of the building art is known to have erected some
monumental stone buildings in Delhi & elsewhere. A very avid player of
polo, Qutbuddin Aibak died in Lahore in 1210 AD, while playing the game;
His tomb is located in Anarkali Bazzar.
Tomb of Malik Ayyaz:
Malik Ayyaz was the favorite & trusted General of Mahmud of Ghazni. He
founded the present day Lahore after the defeat of Raja Jai Pal at the
hands of Mahmud Ayyaz was appointed as the Governor of Lahore in 1042 AD &
the reconstruction of Lahore took place by his orders. His tomb today
stands in the midst of Lahore’s Walled City, inside Shah Almi Gate.
Dai Anga’s Tomb:
Accessed from the Gulabi Bagh gateway, Dai Anga’s Tomb marks the center of
the original garden laid down by Mirza Sultan Baig, Dai Anga was Shah
Jehan’s wet- nurse. The tomb dates back to 1671 AD, where she is buried
along with her daughter. The tomb is dominated by a low- pitched dome & is
built on a raised platform with corner towers.
General Allard’s Tomb:
Jean Allard (1785- 1839 AD) was a French General who joined Napoleon’s
army in 1803 AD, but after the waterloo battle had to leave. Later Allard
served the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to train & administer the Sikh
army on European pattern. He died in Peshawer & was buried along with his
daughter in Lahore.
Quaid-e- Azam Library & Bagh-e- Jinnah:
Quaid-e- Azam Library the biggest Library in Pakistan, is situated
opposite the Governor’s House on the Mall. It is open for public from 8 am
to 8 pm. It is housed in the combined Lawrence & Montgomery halls, built
in 1862 & 1866 to commemorate the first two British governors of the
Punjab. Surrounding the Library is Bagh-e- Jinnah laid out in 1860 (old
name, Lawrence Garden), it is a nice place to stroll & admire the trees
labeled with their Latin names.
Sikh Holy Places:
Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539 AD), the founder of Sikh Panth (religion) was
bron at Raj Bhoeki Talwandi, now known as Nankana Sahib, which is situated
about 75 kms south-west of Lahore (29kms from Sheikhupura). It is an
important place of yatra (pilgrimage) for Sikhs from around the world.
There are a few important Gurdwaras (Sikh temles) at Nankana Sahib
Gurdwara Janam Asthan (birthplace of Guru Nanak) represents the home of
Baba Kalu & Mata Tripta, father & mother of Guru Nanak, Gurdwara was built
by Baba Dharam Chand (1523-1618 AD) son of Baba Lakshmi Das & grandson of
Guru Nanak, it houses sacred relics belonging to Guru, including a holy
cloak embroidered with Quranic verses, said to have been presented to Guru
Nanak by the Caliph of Baghdad, Gurdwara Bal Lila is built at a place
where Guru spent his childhood. Other Gurdwaras at Nankana Sahib include
Gurdwara Diwan Kaura Mal (1748 AD) & Gurdwara Patti Sahib, other sacred
temples in & around Lahore are listed below. Chuharkana- Sacha Sauda, 20
kilometers Northeast of Talwandi Rai Bhoi, Gurdwara Dehra Sahib (Built in
the memory of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru who compiled the Adi
Granth, the principal part of Sikh scriptures 1563-1606) Kartarpur
(Founded by Guru Nank around 1516). Gurdwara Janam Asthan Ramdas (Chuna
Mandi Lahore, birthplace of Siri Guru Ram Das Ji who was born here on 24th
September 1534) Gurdwara Shaheed Bahi Taru Singh Ji (Naulakha Bazar.
Lahore) Gurdwara Rohri Sahib & Chaki Sahib (Eminabad) Shahid Ganj (Near
Lahore Railway Station).
Shrine of Data Sahib ( Hazrat Ali Hajveri):
Close to the junction of the Lower Mall & the Circular Road, is the shrine of Data Sahib, Data Sahib was a great sufi saint whose well known work.
Kashf-ul-Mahjub has been translated from the original Persian into several
European languages & is considered a classic. Attached to the Shrine is a
Shrine of Hazrat Mian Mir:
The shrine of Sufi Saint Mir Muhammad was built by the Moghul Emperor
Aurangzeb its green domes are visible from Mian Mir Railway Bridge just
after Fortress Stadium.
Minar-e- Pakistan (Independence Monument):
Minar-e- Pakistan is the landmark of Lahore which stands in the iqbal Park
to commemorate the date (23 March) when a resolution was passed here back
in 1940 demanding creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of South
Asia. The Minar is a blend of Mughal & modern architecture it is above 60
Allama Iqbal’s Tomb:
Outside the Badshahi Mosque near its steps, lies the tomb of Allama
Muhammad Iqbal. The poet philosopher of the East. The mausoleum is a
mixture of Afghan & Moorish architecture & is constructed entirely of red
Kim’s Gun or Zamzama:
Immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his accounts, is this famous gun now
popularly known as the Kim’s gun. It is placed just outside the Lahore
Museum on Sharah-e-Quaid Azmam in front of the old campus of the Punjab
Opposite the old University Campus, a Mughal style building on the
Shahrah-e-Quaid-e- Azam, houses the Lahore Museum. The Museum contains
some fine specimens of Mughal & Sikh & British times, it has also a
collection of musical instruments ancient jewellery, textile, pottery &
armory. There are also relics from Gandhara & Indus valley Civlizations as
well as some Tibetan & Nepalese exhibits.
An interesting private Museum, known as Faqirkhana, lies inside the Bhati
Gate & is worth visiting. The museum houses a variety of old paintings,
including some by great masters, original manuscripts in different
languages & artifacts from South East & the South Asia.
Shakir Ali Museum:
This museum was famous artist Shakir’s residence at 93/A Tipu Block New
Garden Town, after his death, it was bought by Pakistan National Councial
of Arts (PNCA) & formally turned into a museum on April 3rd, 1976. The
idea behind it was not only to preserve the great artist’s paintings &
other masterpieces under one roof but also to open this combination of
modern & traditional architecture to the public this museum.
Situated at Poonch House, on Multan Road, it was established in 1950. It
is an industrial & commercial Museum, meant to depict country’s economic
resources both in the form of raw products & worked objects. The main hall
displays a range of variety of material such as well plated musical
instruments table lamps of camel skin from Multan & Bhawalpur, cotton,
silken woolen & embroidered textiles from all important cities of
University of the Punjab:
Lahore is the seat of University of the Pujab (1882), the oldest
university in Pakistan. At one end of the Mall stand the University +
perhaps the largest center of eduction in Asia. The city has built a new
Campus in the quieter environments on the Canal Bank, but the old
University buildings are still functioning.
Located in the heart of the town & set in modern style is the Lahore Zoo
founded in 1872. The material used in some of the construction even bears
the marks of 1853. The Lahore Zoo attracts a large crowd throughout the
year. Driving along the Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, just ahead of the Charring
cross & opposites to the WAPDA House is the main gate of the Zoo.
The WAPDA House building is an example of a modern office block, with a
glass dome & a roof garden.
Islamic Summit Minar:
In front of the Punjab Assembly Hall stands a sleek column known as the
Summit Minar, This was erected in distinction of staging the second
Islamic Summit in 1974.
The Fortress Stadium is an attempt to combine the architecture of a fort
like Rohtas with a sports stadium. The Stadium is the site of the famous
Horse & Cattle Show held in March.
Bazaars & Shopping Centers:
The Old City:
In the Mughal days, the old city was surrounded by a 9 meters high brick
wall & had a rampart running around it with a moat connected with the
River Ravi which served as a protection for the city. A circular road
around the rampart gave access to the city through thireen gates. Some of
the imposing structures of these gates are still preserved. In the bazaars
of the old city, one still comes across tiny shops where craftsmen can be
seen busy turning out master pieces in copper, brass, silver as well as
textiles in the traditional fashion.
Anarkali Bazaar is the most fascinating of the city’s many bazaars. The
alleys & lanes of this bazaar are full of exciting wares, especially
traditional crafts like leather ware, embroidered garments, glass bangles,
beaten gold & silver jewellery, creations in silk, anything that you wish
for a bargain it is named after the famous courtesan of Akbar’s court
called Anarkali (Pomegranate Blossom). Anarkali too has its share of
historical monuments. There is the grave of Emperor Qutbuddin Aibak, Liberty Market:
For the ladies ready made stylish suits, shops near the Liberty Market &
Fortress Stadium are the best. For handicraft, The Mall is very popular,
which sells shadow work embroidery at reasonable prices.
Ichra Bazaar has the best quality of unstitched silk,cotton &printed
material of all sorts. On the other hand Mozang Bazaar sells some
interesting hand- block printed cloth, tablecloth & bedspread.
Parks in Lahore:
The Park is 28 kms from Lahore. It can be visited by road & by rail. A
rail-car leaves for Jallo Railway Station after every half an hour. Spread
over an area of 450 acres, it has expanses of lawns, a forest research
centre, a children’s park, Zoo, a small museum & a gift shop. There are
five famous parks in Lahore namely.
• Bagh-e- Jinnah.
• Race Course Park, Gulberg Road,
• Gulshan-e- iqbal Park, Allama Iqbal Town,
• Model Town Park,
• Ferozepur Road Park,
• Iqbal Park, Minar-e-Pakistan.
• These parks have amusement avenues such as play lands for children, mini
Zoos, avarices & miniature lakes as well as peddle & steam boats.
Fairs & Festivals:
The Festival of Lamps or Mela Chiraghan is a very popular event. This is
celebrated every Spring on the last Friday of March outside the Shalimar
Gardens, During the festival, people from all walks of life gather from
all over the province to actively participate in the activities.
National Horse & Cattle Show:
One of the most famous annual festivals, The National Horse & Cattle Show
is held in spring in the fortress Stadium. During the week long activities
there is a display of the finest livestock, horse & camel dances, tent
pegging, colorful folk dances from all regions of Pakistan, mass-band
displays & tattoo shows in the evenings.
Basant (Kite- Flying Festival):
With the advent of spring, skies of Lahore are resplendent with all types
& sizes of kites. The Laborites participate in kite- flying matches to
herald the coming of spring.
Excursions from Lahore:
Flag Ceremony at Wagha:
Wagha is the only land border open between Pakistan & India (Lahore
Amritsar route). This check post is about 30 kms from Lahore. A daily Flag
lowering ceremony is simultaneously held on Pakistan & India side at
Sunset. This half an hour ceremony is attended by a large number of
citizens & tourists. The two hours excursion from Lahore can be arranged
with the assistance of Hunza Adventure Tours.
Hiran Minar is set in peaceful environs near Sheikhupura, it was
constructed by Emperor Jehangir as a monument to Mansraj, one of his pet
antelopes. It is a popular picnic spot with a lake & boating facilities.
Harrappa, The Centre of Civilization:
The archaeological site of Harappa is 204 kms south of Lahore. The town
flourished at the time when the Indus valley Civilization was at its
Zenith, about 4500 years ago.
Gujrat- The Pivot of Punjab:
Gujrat is located 115 north of Lahore on the Grand Trunk Road along the
northern bank of the Chenab River. Due to its location & extensive canal
network, the district produces the best Basmati rice, sugarcane, wheat,
tobacco, vegetables & varieties of fruits, it is famous for its pottery
(traditional terracotta & porcelain china clay), electric fans, shoes &
other industrial products. Gujrat remained the center of civilization in
ancient times. In 4th century BC the fortress of Raja Bachan Pai at
udenagri (present day Gujrat) was destroyed by Alexander of Macedonia.
Together with Sialkot, Gujrat was part of the kingdom of Raja Salivahan in
120 AD, Chinese pilgrim Hiuen T sang in 613 AD reported that Gjrat was
being ruled by Kashmiri king of the Naga dynasty. During 9th & 10th
century AD, it was ruled by hIndu Shahiya & later shared the history with
the rest of the Punjab under Muslim, Sikh & the British rule, During his
second visit to Kashmir in 1582 AD, Mughal King Akbar passed through this
area & found a ruined site 41 feet above the ground. He decided to build a
new, perfectly square & fortified town with two gates. The foundation
stone has a Persian verse, Gujrat basai Akbarabad, Gujrat is founded by
Akbar, Today, the fortified town of ancient Gujrat stands in the heart of
a modern city amidst crowded dwellings, parts of the Fort are still intact
& important buildings include Akbari Hammam & Baoli (water well).
Siaikot- The City of Exports:
Sialkot is located 130 kms north-east of Lahore & is linked by road &
train with the whole country. It is internationally known for its
manufacture of sports goods & surgical instruments.
Gujranwala- The Glory that was:
Gujranwala is situated about 65 kms to the north of Lahore. This city has
developed a wide range of industries that manufacture such products as
fans, washing machines, steel items, room coolers, heaters, ect. Being
located on the historic Grand Road & on the main railway line, it is well
connected with the rest of the country.
Faisalabad- The City of Eight Bazaars:
About 140 kms west of Lahore is Faisalabad. It is known as the Manchester
of Pakistan, being famous for its textile industry. The local point of
this city is Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) Bazaar which connects eight
Chiniot- The Master Craftsman’s Town:
Chiniot is situated about 160 kms to the west of Lahore, it is famous for
its wood work items such as furniture, decoration pieces & wood made
bodies of trucks, buses & wagons.
One can cross over to India from Wagha, which is about 30 kms east of
Lahore. The Wagha border post is open daily for foreigners, Summer (16
April) 08;30 to 14;30 hrs & Winter (16 October to 15 April) 09:00 to 15;00
Bus Services between Pakistan & India:
Bus service between Lahore (Pakistan) & Delhi (India) was started on 16th
March 1999 under an agreement between the two countries. The Service was
suspended on 31st December 2001; it was restored on 11th July 2003. Two
more services between Pakistan & India (Lahore Amritsar from 20th January
2006, & Nankana Sahib Amritsar from 28th March 2006, have been started.
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation has been entrusted by the
Government of Pakistan to operate the Pakistan Bus.
Lahore at a Glance:
Elevation: 213 meters above sea level.
Area: 500 sq. kms
Population: 6212 million.
Local Languages: Punjabi, Urdu, English is widely spoken.
Best time to visit: Between the months of October to March.
Climate: Warm in summers & cold in winters.
Type of Clothing: Tropical in summer & woolen in winter.
About Multan Pakistan:
“With four rare things Multan abounds Heat, Beggars, dust & burial grounds”
The above couplet by a Persian poet describes the primordial environment of the historic city of Multan. But that has changed now & not only the city of Multan but the district itself has been transformed into a green, fertile area. It is fast becoming an industrial town. The city has its own charm, culture & crafts. The origin of the name “Multan” is obscure & so is the period of its founding. It has been called as Mulosan pulu by Hiuen Tsang & Alberuni called it Multana which ultimately came to be called Multan.
History of Multan:
The history of Multan prior to the arrival of the Arabs in the eight century A.D is obscure. Alexander is said to have passed through the district in above 325- 326 B.C but his route cannot be traced it is probable that Multan was the city of Malli which Alexander stormed & where he was wounded.
About 327 B.C the Macedonians were ousted by Chandragupta & the Maurya dynasty remained in power till the beginning of the second century A.D, from 30 B.C to 470 A.D, the kushan dynasty ruled over the area, & from 470 to 550 A.D, the white huns are believed to have held sway.
Multan figures as the capital of an important province of the kingdom of Sindh in the writings of the early Arab geographers. At the time the Arabs first came to Sind, the country was ruled by Raja Chach a Brahmin. Multan was conquered by Arabs under Mohammad Bin Qasim in 712 A.D, after defeating Raja Dahir, a descendant of Chach, There after, the town remained for three centuries the outpost of islam in India under the caliph of Baghdad. It remained nominally subject to the Lodhies Ghaznavids & Mohammad Ghauri up to the end of 12 century. From the beginning of the 13 century for the next three centuries, the history of Multan is practically the history of the incursions from Western & Central Asia.
In 1397 came the invasion by Taimur, whose troops occupied Uch & Multan, sacked Tulamba, raided the Kohkhars of Ravi & passed across Biass to Pakpattan & Delhi. In 1528, came the peaceful transfer of the province of Multan to the emissaries of the Mughal Emperor Babar. Under the Mughal Emperors, Multan enjoyed a long period of peace between 1528- 1748 & was known as Dar-ul-Aman (city of peace).
In 1752 Multan became a province owing allegiance to Afghan kings. It was then ruled by Pathan Governors & Daud Putra Chiefs of Bahawalpur for some time. After 1771, Multan witnessed continued warfare between Sikhs & the Nawabs of Multan. Between 1818 & 1845, it remained under the Sikh rule & finally came under the British rule in 1849.
The City of Multan:
Multan city has the distinction of being the birthplace of three distinguished men in history: Mohammad Tughlaq is said to have been born in 13 century in a hamlet at the place which is now known as Kotla Toleh Khan. Emperor Bahlol Lodhi was bron in Qazian wala Makan near Hussain Agahi Ahmed Shah Abdali, the first Durrani sovereign of Afghanistan, was also born at Multan in 1722.
The city of Multan is bound on the north by the depression lying between is & the fort & on all other sides by a brick wall. It has six gates i.e, Lohari gate, Pak gate, Bohar gate, Delhi gate, Haram gate & Daulat gate.
The old city has narrow colorful bazaars full of local handicrafts &narrow winding lanes. There are many places of historical, cultural & recreational interest in the city.
The Fort of Multan:
Multan Fort was built on a mound separating it from the city by the old bed of river Ravi. Its date cannot be fixed with accuracy. When intact, its circumference was 6600 ft, having 46 bastions, including two towers at each of the four gates i.e., Delhi gate, Khizri gate, Sikhi gate & Rehri gate. The fort was ravaged by the British to avenge the murder of one Mr.Agnew in 1848. At present it is survived by some parts of the old rampart & bastions besides the shrines of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakaria & Shah Rukn-e- Alam, an obelisk in memory of Agnew & a Hindu temple. The famous Qasim Bagh & a stadium are located within the walls of the fort. A panoramic view of Multan city can be had from the highest point in the fort.
Shrines of Multan:
The devastation of Khorasan & Western Iran was to the benefit of this part of Pakistan, for it led to the setting in these families like Gardezi Syeds & Qureshis from Khwarizm, amongst whom Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria is a famous saint.
About the same time Pir Shams Sabzawari from Sabzwar & Kazi Qutubuddin from Kashan came to Multan, Baba Farid Shaur Ganj was born in a village of Multan & settled in Pakpattan, Khawaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki passed through Multan to Delhi & Syed Jalal, the spiritual leader of many families in Multan. Muzaffargarh & Bahawalpur came to Uch Sultan Sakhi Sarwar’s father also emigrated from Bukhara to Sarwar Shah Kot in Multan district. These venerable men contributed greatly to spreading Islam in this area. The saints & shrines of Multan have been attracting a large number of devotees all the year round.
One of the fore must scholars of Islam Shaikh Baba-ud-din Zakria’s shrine is located in the fort. He was born in 1170 A.D Studied in Turan & Iran & received instructions from Shaikh Shahab-ud-din Suharwardi at Baghdad. His Mausoleum was built by the saint himself. It has a unique style of architecture of that period, the only other being at Sonepat in India. It also houses the graves of most of the eminent members of the Qureshi family, including that of Nawab Muzaffar Khan.
The Mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e- Alam, the grandson of Shaikh Bahauddin Zakaria, is also located near the main gate of the Multan fort. He was also a man of great religious & political influence during the Tughlaq reign & was in Multan when it was visited by Ibn-e- Batuta. The Mausoleum was originally built by Emperor Ghayasud Din Tughlaq but was given up by his son Muhammad Tughlaq in favor of Shah Rukn-e- Alam. Besides its religious importance, the Mausoleum has a unique architectural value. Its dome is considered to be the second largest in the world. The Mausoleum has recently been given the Agha Khan award for the best Muslim architecture. Some of the interesting statistics of its architecture are.
01: Total height above the road level is 150 ft.
02: Total height of building is 100 ft.
03: Octagonal upper structure diameter is 26 ft.
04: Octagonal lower structure diameter 52 ft.
05: The dome on top has a diameter of 58 ft.
The Mausoleum has very rich geometrical patterns, calligraphy & colourful floral, mosaic & glazed tile work. The shrine is visited by devotees all the year round.
The shrine of Hazrat Shams Sabzwari is located near Aam- Khas Garden. A descendant of Imam Jaffar, he was born in 1165 A.D. The saint died in 1276 A.D & his shrine was built by his grandson in 1330 A.D.
Other Shrines in Multan include these of Mohammad Yousaf Gardezi near Bohar gate, Musa Pak Shaheed inside the Pak gate, Totla Mai near Haram gate, Shah Ali Akbar, a descendant of Shah Shams Sabzwari, in Suraj Miani & Baba Safra near Eidgah.
Mosques of Multan:
The famous mosques of Multan are Wali Mohammad Mohammad Mosque in Chowk Bazar built by Ali Muhammad Khakwani in 1758 A.D, Mosque Phulhatt in Chowk Bazar built by Emperor Farrukh Siyar, Baqarabadi Mosque built by Baqar Khan in 1720 A.D & the beautiful Eidgah Mosque built by Nawab Abdul Samad Khan in 1735 A.D.
Multan has some beautiful modern buildings such as Nishtar Medical College, University Campus, Arts Council building with an auditorium, Multan Railway station building the famous Clock Tower building of the Multan Municipal Corporation & Sate Bank of Pakistan etc.
There are places of recreation in Multan such as the Stadium, the Lake Chaman zar-e-Askari & Company Bagh in the Cantoment, the Stadium & Qasim Bagh in the Multan Fort, Lange Khan Garden, Aam-Khan Garden & the parks at Bohar gate, Chowk Shaheedan, Tabbi Sher Khan & the Nawan Shaher in & around Multan.
Festivals, Fairs & Melas:
Religious festivals in Multan are a peculiar mixture of devotion & recreation. Multan is famous for its shrines. Annual urs is held on every shrine. Well known are the urs of Shah Rukn-e-Alam. Bahauddin Zakaria, Shah Shams Sabzwari, Shah Jamal, Sher Shah & Mela Ludden pir ect.
How to Get There:
Multan has an airport about 4 km from the city. PIA & other air lines operate daily flights between Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad via Multan & vice versa.
Multan is connected by rail with all parts of the country & lies on the main railway tracks between Karachi, Peshawar & Quetta, Lahore, Peshawar.
Multan is connected by daily A/c, Non A/c buses, mini vans wagons services with Islamabad, Murree, Lahore, Mianwali, Bahawalpur, Sukkur, Karachi, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rawalpindi & Peshawar etc.
Buses, Wagons, taxis, auto rickshaws & tongas are available.
What to Eat:
Western & Pakistani dishes are available in Western style hotels. Lassi, Sharbat & Faluda are local cold drinks, Multani Halwa (Sweet Preparation) is also famous. Amongst fruits, mangoes, water-melons, kino, oranges, pomegranates, guavas & dates are grown in the district & are available during the season besides other fruits.
What to Buy:
Local Handicrafts: Multan is famous for various types of souvenirs. Multan Khussa (shoes), embroidery work of all types, thread & Aar work costumes for ladies, embroidered cloths cholas or kurtas for men painted & glazed earthen pottery. Camel skin products, carpets & lacquered wooden products ect, are available in the narrow colorful bazaars.
Main shopping centres are bazaar Hussain Agahi, Chowk bazaar, Bohar gate, Haram gate, Delhi gate, Lohari gate & Pak gate bazaars in the old city & the Cantonment shopping areas.
The men in rural area wear a “Pag” or “Patka” (turban) or sometimes a “ Kulla” white or blue waist cloth or “Majhla” a “Chola” or long shirt & a “Chadar” worn over the shoulders. Amongst educated class in urban areas. Shalwar, Lehngs or Ghagra Chola & Kurta of bright colours. Short sleeved “Choli” or “Kurti” is also worn in the rural areas. The head is covered with “Bochan” or dupatta or embroidered & Phulkari chadars.
North Latitude 29* to 22* & 30* to 45* & East Longitude 71* to 4* & 72* to 55*.
45 square km.
1288170 (1998 census).
Urdu, Punjabi & Saraiki, English is spoken & understood by educated people.
Cold in winter & very hot in summer, the normal rainfall is above 6* during the monsoon from July to September.
October to March.
Fox, Jackal & wild boat. Amongst birds are grey & black partridges, sand- grouse visit the district in winter, quail, plover & pigeons are common.